The Interrogation Has Only Begun

Sakura watched the silhouettes of her parents pacing outside her hospital room. The doctor had told them he would release their daughter later in the day, yet they were still waiting. Finally another figure approached her parents and she watched her father's shadow nod. The relieved face of her mother poked through the curtains and informed Sakura they could leave. Sakura's father was overly cautious in helping Sakura hop off the bed, as her arm was in a sling, but Sakura shooed him away.

The three of them walked out to the car, but Sakura hesitated before getting in.

"Sakura?" Her mother asked when she noticed the dazed look on Sakura's face.

A few seconds went by.

"Mom, dad. Before we go home, can we do something first?"

Her parents shared a knowing glance.

"That boy?" Her mother asked.

Sakura nodded. She had relayed everything about the day, the curly haired man, the man with blood on his sweater, the gun, the man with the katana, everything. Well, not everything. The details of the red-haired man she had left out. As well as her suspicions of Rinne's parentage.

"He was the same one from last night?" Her father asked this time.

She nodded again, this time looking back and forth between her parents.

"It might have turned out a lot worse if it weren't for him."


"Kain, how many times have we been through this? My connections to him are about as knowledgeable as you towards your dad."

"Rokudo, leave him out of this," Kain glared.

Rinne growled and laid his head against the cool table.

"Tell me again how you knew he was going to be in those parts today?"

"A kid hears things," he sighed, "and I never said I knew he going to be there, just that something was going down today. I wasn't sure exactly what it was."

"But it worried you enough to contact that girl, to inform her of the danger?"


"And why did you do that? Why didn't you call the police? Why did you only go out of your way to protect her, when there were others who would've benefited from police surveillance?"

Rinne growled again.

"I dunno. Maybe 'cause I'm sixteen and don't think things through."

"And I'm only seventeen, Rokudo."

Rinne lifted his head. To Kain he whispered, "How are you even working here? You're just a kid."

Kain brushed off the comment. "You have to know something."

"I don't. And one would think with your connection to him that you'd be more informed than I would."

Kain leaned over and whispered to Rinne.

"I'm going to pretend that's in reference to my job."

Rinne raised his eyebrows. "Why are we being videotaped?"

Kain leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms over his uniform.

"Alright," there was obviously no more he would be able to get from the younger boy, "you want a snack?"

Rinne held his head. "What I want is an ice pack."

Kain nodded.


Rinne nearly smacked into someone as he left out the door of the police station. He apologized and continued on, until someone called to him, "Wait!" He looked straight in front of him to a man and woman he thought he recognized. He turned behind him to where the voice originated. He blinked. The one he had bumped into was none other than Sakura Mamiya. Her arm was in a sling and Rinne's stomach twisted.

He looked back at the two people he recognized. They were Mr. and Mrs. Mamiya. Rinne felt his body stiffen. Their daughter was hurt, and Rinne knew (as was the course of his life) that he would somehow be blamed for it. He didn't even bother to move. Whatever punishment was coming his way would come, and there was nothing he could do about it.

"This is him?" Mrs. Mamiya asked Sakura.

Sakura looked at the boy. He looked awful, he had a bandage over his cheek, a very obvious black eye, and his right hand was wrapped in gauze, but yes, that was the right boy.

"Thank you," Mr. Mamiya said suddenly bowing his head to the boy.

Rinne startled when Mrs. Mamiya bowed also.

"W-w-what is this?" He stuttered. He didn't understand what all the bowing was about.

"You saved our only child. Without you there, who knows what could have happened to her," said Mrs. Mamiya straightening herself back up.

"Twice," Sakura added with a smile.

Rinne shook his head. "N-no. I just happened to…"

"Have you anywhere to stay tonight?"

Rinne blinked at the man's question.

"If you don't, we do have a spare room."

Rinne continued to shake his head, but the girl's parents continued to talk about his staying with them, how lovely it is to have a houseguest, what they should eat for dinner, and even how long he should actually stay.

"I really don't think I should stay," he interrupted suddenly.

A blush crept to his cheeks when the pair of adults looked back at him.

"It's not as if… as if I don't appreciate the gesture, I really do, but… you and I are really strangers so is really wouldn't… be the best idea…I think…"

Mr. Mamiya laughed. "You're right, we haven't been properly introduced have we?"

"That's not what I-"

"You're name is Rinne right?" Asked Sakura's mother.

Rinne nodded.

"Is there a family name to go with that?" She smiled.

Rinne cast his eyes to the ground. "That's not important."

"Then, Rinne-san, won't you stay the night? I'll make fried chicken."

Rinne couldn't help but perk up at that. How did the woman know he loved fried food so much?


Before dinner, Mr. Mamiya had given Rinne the opportunity to use their shower. Mrs. Mamiya had asked if she could give his clothes a wash. He insisted that wasn't necessary, but she handed Rinne a t-shirt and sweatpants to wear after his shower. After which Rinne didn't resist too much.

A real shower was wonderful. A far cry from locking himself in a Laundromat bathroom for a quick scrub once in a while. It had been months since he had been able to feel totally clean, and he was really enjoying the experience. It was nice.

He sat in the living room after his shower while dinner was being prepared. When Sakura's mother caught Rinne trying to reapply his old bandages she quickly stopped him and brought out the first-aid kit. He protested when she tried bandaging up his hand, but she won out, treating him like a little child with an owie rather than the young man he was.

Actually, he blushed a bit, It had been a while since he had a mother-figure to take care of him. She smiled at him when she had finished and got up to tend to dinner. He watched her walk away, and realized he really missed his grandmother. It was times like this he regretted his decisions.

Slippers padded over the wood floor, making him look up at the figure walking towards him. Sakura stopped next to him and came down to sit next to him.

She sighed as if she wanted to say something, but only silence passed, causing Rinne to raise a brow.

Another second passed before Rinne spoke.

"Is there something you wanted to say?"

Another second passed. Sakura looked at the TV screen.

"Thank you."

Rinne made a noise and looked away from her.

"No," she said tapping his shoulder so he would look at her, "I mean that. I really do… and there's something that I-"

"Sakura, Rinne-san, dinner's ready," Mrs. Mamiya informed the pair.

Rinne looked back at Sakura.

"Sakura Mamiya?"

She looked at the clock for some reason.

"We'll talk later," and she stood up and headed for the dining room.


At dinner Rinne attempted to get the conversation off of anything to do with him, but the girl and her parents still managed to get a little information out of him (he was 16, his favorite color was not red, his hair was naturally that color, he didn't know if his eye color had anything to do with a recessive gene for albinism [nor did he care], and his favorite ice cream flavor was strawberry) before they gave up on asking him questions. Thankfully they didn't ask about his family or the police questioning earlier in the day.

Mrs. Mamiya kept trying to force more food on him, offering him seconds, thirds and so forth, even after he swore he was full. The kindness of this family was truly amazing, he thought. He didn't see what he had done to deserve this much consideration. In his mind, if he had never gotten tangled up with Naraku, Sakura would have never gotten hurt. Guilt of that clouded his mind to any of the good he had done that afternoon or the night previously.

Sakura's parents set Rinne up with a futon in a half-empty storage room down the hall from theirs, but Rinne didn't mind in the slightest. How nice to sleep on an actual bed!

Although her parents would keep her home from school tomorrow following the day's events, Sakura complained that she was very tired and went upstairs to bed at a normal bedtime. Following suit, Rinne stood in the doorway of the storage room and bowed to the girl's parents. He thanked them again for their extreme kindness and went to bed himself. He had to smile as he curled up under the covers, he felt warm and oddly safe in a stranger's home.


He fell asleep with ease, something he rarely did. Later, around midnight, a small squeak woke him. His eyes snapped open when he realized that the squeak the door to the room. He looked around, remembering where he was, and that he had been most likely too deep in sleep to hear them approach from outside the door.

Then the door closed slowly. A figure now stood in the room, just in front of the door. Rinne squinted into the darkness. When most people entered the room of a sleeping person, they didn't close the door behind them, and they didn't just stand there in front of it.

"Who's there?" he said sharply, startling the figure.

"Shhh! Don't wake my parents up," it whispered, indicating itself as Sakura Mamiya.

She turned the knob to the lights barely, so that there was just enough light for the pair to see each other.

"Rokudo-kun. About earlier," she began, sitting across from him.

"Rokudo? So you heard that."

He sat up looking at the girl in pajamas. Her hair was down, but it was still wavy from her braids.

She nodded.

"I've got some questions for you."

Rinne sighed. He had hoped to avoid more interrogation.


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